I created this blog to share my health journey. Over the last months I have shared a lot about becoming a personal trainer, my fit pregnancy, fit tips, spiritual living, recipes and as my views have increased I really have been praying and thinking about the future of my blog and what goals I would like to have for it come this winter.
I feel such a calling to help women on their fitness journey. I want it to be a place in which I can encourage, motivate and help women achieve both physical and spiritual health. I want this to be a platform in which they can open up about their journey (everyone so different) to physical fitness and share improvements, set-backs and goals. I have spread a little bit about my personal life over different posts. Today I am opening up about my third pregnancy and the journey God has had my husband and I on these last 2 months.
Just almost 9 short months ago we shared with our family and friends that we were expecting our third child.
We were so excited to add a fifth member to our family. As time passed and routine check-ups came and went we found out we were having our third girl!
We couldn’t believe it, 3 girls. Dennis my husband peeled out of the parking lot at the hospital saying “3 weddings! no one is dating our girls! I’m gonna have to shower in my barn!”
It was funny, truly God’s plan for our family and honestly we just wanted a healthy baby. Dennis has truly embraced taking on the role of having three girls. I plan on being a crazy aunt to my nephew’s spoiling them and attending lots of sporting events!
It wasn’t until my 20 week appointment that the ultrasound tech couldn’t get a good picture of the babies heart. “your baby is just to active she told me”. She asked me are you an active person? What do you do for work? Laughing I said replied yes, we can come back in a few weeks.
Thinking nothing of the appointment I loaded the kids in the car snacks and all as we headed to the appointment. You see taking them was always such an interesting time. Amelia loves to play in the water fountain, Ava scaling and climbing every chair in the doctors office. Screaming over goldfish during the ultrasound. At one point I think they pulled down blinds and practically climbed over some women’s back. We had to come back two more times for one more look.
The fourth time we came back I had an uneasy feeling in my stomach. “Something is not right,” I told Dennis that morning.
We got into the room and I looked at the tech, “Ok, What’s seriously going on?”
After looking a fourth time she told me she thought she saw a small hole in-between the lower two ventricles. No big deal right! It can close on it’s own or a very minor surgery can repair it.
Waiting for the Dr. as thoughts rushed through my head, thoughts that never crossed my mind in the last 20+ weeks did. The girls arguing over who knows a sucker seemed so drowned out in the back round as I waited for our dr. to speak with me.
“we are going to send you to a specialist and have them take a further look.” She then told me that some other things I should become concerned about is the possibility of downs syndrome. At that point I lost it. I mean what mother wouldn’t. Not that I wouldn’t love this baby any more or any less but just the thought of taking me out of my comfort zone, my perfect world of certainty made me feel so uneasy.That afternoon I reasoned with God. “WHY, I was angry and afraid.”
I’ll never forget the phone call between my husband and I on his way home from work that day. You see God has always been ever present in our home and lives but on this day he became our ROCK.
“The Lord is my rock and my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my strength, in whom I will trust, my shield and horn of my salvation, my stronghold”. Psalm 18:2
It was at this moment that our outlook on life dramatically changed. Dennis and I were and still are continually thanking God for this season of life. We had been worrying about things that don’t matter,realizing God first, our relationship as husband and wife next and family are the most important things in this life, we stopped taking our kids for granted, started spending more time with family, realized we weren’t spending enough time knowing the Father in a deeper more intimate way,I was constantly trying to live in a controlled perfect world, and I never asked for help. I had the mentality of “I’m Good, I can handle anything on my own, I’m tough.” It was like my eyes were opened I had such a deeper compassion for people who have struggled or are going through hardship.
A few weeks passed and we headed up to Mercy Medical were they confirmed the hole and pressured us to do genetic testing for the baby. A mess in the room Dennis and I made a decision quickly to decide to take the genetic test. Once we returned home that evening and sat down to talk about it we decided that we made a decision that was in the heat of an emotional moment and that we would call and hope to cancel the test first thing in the morning. We were able to cancel the test and felt such a peace surround us that we had made the right decision.
What was knowing going to change. We would love our baby regardless of her condition and learn each day how to embrace what God has blessed us with. These past two months have been some of the best most joyous times and some of the toughest days in our life. I have had days were I have allowed myself to become completely vulnerable for the first time in my life, broken, crying, days were I can’t even shed a tear, allowing God to take all of this each and every day has been a constant uphill battle for me. God has constantly reminded us of this verse:
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-11
We headed up to Akron Children’s and met with a cardiologist who found a further defect in the babies heart called Complete AV canal defect. Dennis and I felt fried after he explained the treatment, surgery, and diagnosis. I remember after every appointment we just sat in the living room starring at each other and it was just like sometimes no words could come out. The Dr. was very positive, this condition is common, and the baby will have open heart surgery 4-6 months after birth. When she has the surgery depends on how well she does the first few months after birth. She will have routine check up’s with Akron children’s hospital every 6 weeks to monitor her progress. It’s still up in the air as to how she will do when she is born but typically babies are able to go home 3-4 days after they are delivered.We felt extremely blessed to know before delivery, to have a plan in place, and to prepare ourselves for the long road ahead as we await for her surgery.
I started worrying about when she gets here and what care will be like for her. worrying about my two precious baby girls Ava and Amelia, worrying about things again that are again out of my control. I texted a dear friend who has no idea how much support she has offered me in these last months as she went through a very similar situation a year ago. In those moments and countless others I felt God’s hand on my shoulder working through different situations, by what they have shared with me,certain things that have happened and I have seen the amazing power of our AWSOME, never failing God,a God who has so much Love for us.We continue to cling to the hope of Jesus. I can tell you for certain our little girls middle name will be “hope”.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
The support we have received from family, friends, work and our church family at River tree is truly amazing. God has provided, taken care of us, and continues to do so.
Sitting in church the Sunday we found out about the babies heart defect and every day since God has reminded me in the still silent moments that he has plans for our family to prosper us to watch us grow, that we have a hope and a future. When discouraged I cling to this verse:
“For I know that plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Dennis and I can’t wait to meet our third baby girl. We can’t wait to fall in love all over again for a third time with our little blessing from above. She is like the icing on the cake for our family and I truly believe she will complete our little homestead of girls!
Our prayer is the baby is completely healed if not when she is born by the doctor’s hands, that the delivery goes smoothly, and that we can bring her home soon after delivery. We have prepared for the best and both the hard, trusting the Lord has a perfect plan for our family. I am heading to the hospital to get induced on Thursday at 7am. Please keep us in your prayers and thoughts. We will be posting updates here on the blog and on Facebook and if you wish to be on a e-mail chain with specific updates and prayer requests please contact me: Michellevolpe28@gmail.com
Blessings and Love, Dennis and Michelle